Men do yoga | Thomas James Smith

Thomas James Smith sat on a staircase
Thomas James Smith, 1988, Singer, Songwriter, Composer and Illustrator
Facebook / Soundcloud 

Thomas James Smith in crow pose (Bakasana)

When and how did you start yoga?
I started yoga about a year and a half ago after dating a yoga teacher and being really impressed with her strength, energy and ability to cope with adversity. After we went separate ways I found one of the only things to really clear my mind was yoga and cold showers.

What style of yoga do you practice?
I mainly practice Ashtanga at the moment.... Mysore style.

How has it changed your life?
I find that my singing has improved greatly from the vinyasa aspect of my practice. 
I'm more tolerant to discomfort in general and find myself seeking out situations in which I can grow more readily than before. The fact that the yoga journey is endless has taught me self patience. This has transferred to other aspects of my life other than yoga where there is work to be done. The physical aspect of yoga acts as a metaphor for encountering difficulties in life; sometimes uncomfortable but even the most stubborn obstacle can be overcome with perseverance, focus and steady breath.
On a more mundane level, if I drop something on the floor, I'm really good at picking it up now.

Thomas James Smith eating a banana

What is your most memorable yoga moment?
There are many incremental improvements that I've noticed in my own practice that are noteworthy, but the moment that comes to mind is the first time I tried Ashtanga. I had probably done a handful of yoga classes up until that point and when I tried it, my world blew up. Complete game changer. I felt so high afterwards, also a bit broken. I found it hard to believe that anyone could tolerate that experience on a regular basis without being superhuman.

What makes a great yoga teacher?
Someone who can balance kicking your ass and caring in equal parts. Knowing what you are capable of and wanting you to experience it.

What is your favourite pose and why?
I'm always quite happy when I'm upside down.

Thomas James Smith meditating on a set of stairs

What do you do when not doing yoga?
Sing, play guitar and draw pictures. I am currently renovating my narrowboat and also enjoy reading lots.

What are you listening to?
Nature sounds on loop when I'm working in noisy cafes. I've been listening to my music a lot too.

What are you reading?
The 4 Hour Work Week, Guruji - A Portrait of Pattabhi Jois, Sapiens.

Thomas James Smith in boat pose (Navasana)

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Leonardo Da Vinci.

If you could be any animal in the world, what would you choose?
I would be some sort of nimble monkey.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
Neo from The Matrix

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Spice girls - 2 become 1. The musical arrangement is top notch!

Thomas James Smith looking up a flight of stairs

When are you happiest?
Savasana, drinking coffee and getting into bed at the end of the day.

Thomas James Smith forward folding in Flourish vest

What is your greatest fear?
Not living up to what I am capable of.

Where would you go if you could time travel?
I'd like to meet Nicola Tesla or Leonardo Da Vinci.

Thomas James Smith with hands in prayer

Why should people do yoga?
To find out that they are more than they currently believe.

Tell us something we don’t know.
Being sober at parties can be fun.

Thomas James Smith in squat

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